Anne Hathaway Recalls Being Asked A Creepy Question By A Journalist When Just 16 Years Old

Anne Hathaway in Dark Waters
(Image credit: Focus Features)

Although Anne Hathaway hit the big time in 2001 when she first played Mia Thermopolis in The Princess Diaries (there’s still no word on if she’s involved with The Princess Diaries 3), the actress had already been professionally acting for a few years before that Disney movie came her way. Unfortunately, being an underage actress getting her start in the business didn’t prevent Hathaway from dealing with uncomfortable situations, like the time she was asked a creepy question by a journalist when she was only 16 years old.

Anne Hathaway, who has plenty of great movies worth checking out, recalled this moment while talking about her new movie Eileen, the dark comedy thriller that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this past Saturday. The movie sees Hathaway playing a psychologist opposite Last Night in Soho’s Thomasin McKenzie as a prison secretary, and as the actress told the crowd that turned out for Eileen during the Q&A afterwards (via Variety), working on the movie carried an important emotional connection for her. As she put it:

I just remembered one of the very first questions I ever got asked when I started acting and had to do press was: Are you a good girl or a bad girl? I was 16. And my 16-year-old self wanted to respond with this film.

Anne Hathaway didn’t name the project she’d been talking about when this journalist threw out this creepy question, though if I had to guess, it might’ve been for her short-lived comedy-drama Get Real. This show, one of the many things Hathaway fans should know about her, only aired from September 1999 to April 2000, and also starred Jesse Eisenberg and NCIS: Los Angeles’/CBS heavy-hitter Eric Christian Olsen. Whether that was the project or not, it’s safe to say that journalist made a wrong move asking the 16-year-old Hathaway that question, and it’s yet another example of the misogyny that underage actress have dealt with in Hollywood. Hathaway’s recollection comes a month after Bella Thorne shared that there was pressure to fire her from Shake It Off when she was 14 because she was seen wearing a bikini at the beach.

If there’s a silver lining to that incident, it’s that Anne Hathaway was able to channel that discomfort she felt all those years ago into her performance in Eileen. The movie sees Thomasin McKenzie’s character, who’s largely overlooked and takes care of her alcoholic father, building a homoerotic relationship with Hathaway’s character. Ottessa Moshfegh, who wrote the original Eileen novel, co-wrote the film adaptation with Causeway’s Luke Goebel, and Lady Macbeth’s William Oldroyd directed the feature.

While we wait for word on which distributor snagged Eileen and when it will be released to the public, check out the 2023 movie releases already on the calendar. Anne Hathaway also stars this year in She Came to Me, which will debut at the Berlin Film Festival next month.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.